With Everest's third birthday fast approaching, I decided to reflect on his life. Everest Patrick entered this world on May 31st 2009 at 2:02AM after a rough 32 hours of labor. He had respiratory distress, and pulmonary interstitial emphysema and was on an oscillating ventilator, conventional ventilator, Sipap, Cpap, and nasal canula. He had a patent ductus arteriosis, and ventricular septal defect(2 holes in the heart). He had a PDA ligation. He had a grade III and IV intraventricular hemorrhage which resulted in hydrocephalus and a VP shunt. He had staph infection, and was septic. He had Necrotising enterocolitis. Everest had 3 brain surgeries while in the NICU, and several "small" procedures. Everest struggled a lot while in the NICU, and even after he came home.
He started Early Childhood Intervetion once he came home. He received Physical Therapy and Occupational therapy. He had hypotonia and was very "weak". He army crawled around a year, sat at 14 months, and walked at 21 months. Everest was such a trooper with therapy, while there were stretches, and exercises that were not the most plesant he rarely complained. At 9 months he was back in Penn State Children's Hospital with a shunt infection. He had brain surgery #4 and #5- after 10 days, he came home. Less than 2 weeks later we were back in with shunt infection # 2. He had brain surgery #6 and 2 minor procedures (due to being so extremely sick). After 10 days of antibiotics, he had brain surgery #7. During that hospital stay, we discovered he had an abnormality in his spinal cord. He got an MRI of his spine, and discovered he had a tethered spinal cord. At 14 months (his actual 1 year homecoming date from the NICU), he had a tethered cord release (by his AMAZING neurosurgeon Dr. Iantosca- neurosurgery #8).
Everest never ceases to amaze me. He rarly complained. He has overcome so many hurdles. He is still "behind" his peers, but we could not be more proud of him.
At ALMOST 3, he is speaking in complete sentances, climbing the couch, and can sit up the WHOLE WAY down a slide. He still crawls up the stairs, and slides down them, holds his breath to walk up hills, and has some minor sensory issues. But he is progressing everyday.
Sometimes, i get sad, and think about his birth, and wish i could have just kept him cooking a little bit longer. I hear people talk about their "normal" kids, and feel a little bad. But then Everest wouldn't be who he is today. We wouldn't be who we are today.
We will never have a "normal" life with Everest, we still see numerous specialists, he still gets therapy, and everytime he gets sick we have to rule out a shunt issue. Everest will need to have more surgeries in the future. But he IS here, he IS happy, and I couldn't be more grateful for that.